It’s safe to say former Pittsburgh Steelers’ quarterback Charlie Batch isn’t a fan of Matt Canada.
Batch has been openly critical of Canada throughout the 2021 season as the Steelers’ offense was rather inept, but despite that inability to generate much offensively, Batch is resigned to the belief that Canada will return in 2022 as the Steelers’ offensive coordinator, citing his contract, the Steelers’ history with how they handle coordinators, and the fact that head coach Mike Tomlin already expressed optimism in the Steelers’ coordinator.
Appearing on the 93.7 Fan Morning Show Friday, Batch expressed frustration with the offense as a whole, while also adding that he doubts the offense can all of a sudden become a top-of-the-league unit under Canada now that Ben Roethlisberger has all but officially walked away from the game, allowing the Steelers to now find a QB that truly fits the former college coordinator’s scheme.
“This is just kind of where I’m at; I don’t like this offense, I don’t like cutting half of the field off, but hey, this is what is it, and we’ve seen exactly what this offense is capable of doing,” Batch told 93.7 The Fan Morning Show on Friday. “I just don’t see us not advancing, and now saying miraculously this offensive is going to go from the bottom of the league to the top of the league, I just don’t see it happening.”
Batch certainly brings up a good point that the offense was really clunky, took away half the field and made defending the Steelers that much easier week to week. While Tomlin may have optimism regarding Canada, few outside the organization do, especially after watching the Steelers’ offense under Canada take a significant step backwards after Randy Fichtner was run out of town.
Pittsburgh was far worse in 2021 than 2020 in a number of categories, including scoring (34 touchdowns in 2021, 50 in 2020), points per game (20.2 to 26), yards per game (315.4 to 334.6) and third-down percentage (38.9 to 42.2). That doesn’t look great, does it?
The performance this season offensively, at least at face value, doesn’t matter as Tomlin stated that the offensive issues had more to do with the personnel available than the scheme Canada employs. Batch added another caveat to the Canada discussion: The Steelers don’t pay coaches to be at home on their couches when they have time left on their contracts.
“[Art Rooney II is] not going to pay him to sit at home, so if he has years on [his contract], Matt’s going to be back,” Batch said.
Typically, the Steelers hand out two-year contracts to position coaches and three-year contracts to coordinators. It’s unclear at this time what Canada’s contract looks like, considering he was promoted to offensive coordinator from quarterbacks coach, but for now Canada will get at least another season, much to the chagrin of many.